Why you need a CRM for customer service and support

Evaluating A CRM


The short answer is because you have too much to do and not enough people to do it. This is especially true post-pandemic for many organizations that are operating much leaner than before.

While many of our lives were put on pause, technology continued to innovate. There’s an expectation now more than ever that communications will be dealt with in a timely manner. That’s why it’s so important to have a CRM for customer service and support. In the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) world, this community support is called “case management.”

Even before the global pandemic, organizations were moving away from individual branches toward a more centralized operations model, recognizing the efficiencies that could be achieved by having CRM for customer service and support.

What is Case Management?

“Case management is essentially the intake of info from your constituents, which can include members, donors, volunteers, program participants or anyone else engaged with your organization,” says Dillon Higa, a Business Solutions Consultant at Traction Rec. “The primary way to ‘talk’ to them is through Salesforce, the platform that powers our solution.”

As Dillon explains, a good constituent experience begins with ensuring their query ends up in the inbox of the right person.

Delight your members

Is there anything more satisfying than getting a timely response to a question? Maybe. But this goes a long way in the realm of member satisfaction. Organizations that rely on manually distributing incoming communications— like forwarding emails — are prone to human error. Staff members away on vacation, emails piling up in an inbox… There are many ways for queries to get lost. Then there are phone calls, online forms, and in-person inquiries that also need to be received and followed up on.

There are many avenues for an organization to receive queries but without a CRM there is no real organization of those communications.

With a CRM, incoming queries are instantly tracked and routed to the best person to address that message—saving time and headaches for everyone involved. On top of that, automated response reminders and escalation alerts mean there’s virtually no way for a case to fall by the wayside.

Enable your team from anywhere and everywhere

“Imagine if all the emails that came to you were problems you could actually solve,” says Dillon. “Then you could set up a system to remind yourself to deal with them as you see fit.” Something as simple as making sure queries are routed to the right person frees up valuable time for staff members to focus on more important activities, such as programming.

Having a single source of truth—all your constituent data in one place—is the key to streamlining your organizational processes. In an instant, you can see all the relevant info pertaining to each customer query, including when it came in, who it was routed to and whether it was addressed.

Additionally, referring to your data can help make smarter staffing decisions. At a glance, the leadership team or customer service managers can see the average resolution time per team member, which team member has too many cases to deal with, and other variables that could be holding your staff back from doing their best work.

Empower your stakeholders

If knowledge is power, then data is the cherry on top. Organizations are increasingly looking at their data to make business decisions. CRMs produce reports that can be configured in any way that makes the most sense to you. You could get a daily/weekly/monthly summary, have reports based on programs or activities or build a custom report to address anything else.

It’s one thing to collect data but it’s quite another to be able to visualize and share it with the decision makers in your organization. With easy-to-read dashboards the data is transformed from numbers and graphs to relevant information that can be actioned on.

For customer service managers, a history of data can help you identify times when you need to increase your customer support resources—this could mean anticipating when you’ll need more staff like right before camp registration.

A history of data can also help you deflect future inquiries. For example, if you’re getting many of the same questions on a particular topic, you can address the issue by sending out a newsletter or creating a self-serve solution, like referring the constituent to an FAQ page on your website. Either way, you’ll quickly learn all the ways you can use data to improve customer satisfaction.

“If it’s not broke” but there’s something better

Knowing all this, why would any organization continue to keep data in disparate systems? According to Dillon, “Often it’s a case of ‘good enough.’ An organization may be settled and have a system they’re not so immediately unhappy with.” But we couldn't imagine living life like this and neither should you.

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